THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF
Barnabas was a companion and fellow-preacher with Paul. This Epistle lays a greater claim to
canonical authority than most others. It has been cited by Clemens, Alexandrinus, Origen, Eu -
sebius, and Jerome, and many ancient Fathers. Cotelerius affirms that Origen and Jerome es-
teemed it genuine and canonical; but Cotelerius himself did not believe it to be either one or
the other; on the contrary, he supposes it was written for the benefit of the Ebionites, (the
christianized Jews,) who were tenacious of rites and ceremonies. Bishop Fell feared to own ex-
pressly what he seemed to be persuaded of, that it ought to be treated with the same respect as
several of the books of the present canon. Dr. Bernard, Savilian professor at Oxford, not only
believed it to be genuine, but that it was read throughout in the churches of Alexandria, as the
canonical Scriptures were. Dodwell supposed it to have been published before the Epistle of
Jude, and the writings of both the Johns. Vossius, Dupuis, Dr. Cane, Dr. Mill, Dr, S . Clark,
Whitson, and Archbishop Wake also esteemed it genuine: Menardus, Archbishop Eand, Span-
heim, and others deemed it apocryphal.
Preface to the Epistle.
ALL happiness to you my sons and
daughters, in the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ, who loved us, in peace.
2 Having perceived abundance of
knowledge of the great and excellent
laws of God to be in you, I exceed-
ingly rejoice in your blessed and ad-
mirable souls, because ye have so
worthily received the grace which
was grafted in you.
3 For which cause I am full of joy,
hoping the rather to be saved; inas-
much as I truly see a spirit infused
into you, from the pure fountain of
4 Having this persuasion, and being
fully convinced thereof, because that
since I have begun to speak unto
you, I have had a more than ordinary
good success in the way of the law
of the Lord, which is in Christ,
5 For which cause brethren, I also
think verily that I love you above my
own soul; because that therein dwell-
eth the greatness of faith and char-
ity, as also the hope of that life
which is to come.
6 Wherefore considering this, that
if I shall take care to communicate
to you a part of what I have re-
ceived, it shall turn to my reward,
that I have served such good souls. I
gave diligence to write in a few
words unto you; that together with
your faith, your knowledge also may
7 There are therefore three things
ordained by the Lord; the hope of
life, the beginning, and the comple-
tion of it.
8 For the Lord hath both declared
unto us, by the prophets, those
things that are past; and opened to
us the beginnings of those that are
9 Wherefore, it will behove us, as he
has spoken, to come more holily, and
nearer to his altar.
10 I therefore, not as a teacher but
as one of you, will endeavour to lay
before you a few things by which you
may, on many accounts, become the
That God has abolished the legal sacri-
fices, to introduce the spiritual righteous-
ness of the Gospel.
SEEING then the days are exceed-
ingly evil, and the adversary has got
the power of this present world we
ought to give the more diligence to
inquire into the righteous judgments
of the Lord.
2 Now the assistants of our faith
are fear and patience; our fel-
low-combatants, long suffering and
3 Whilst these remain pure in what
relates unto the Lord, wisdom, and
understanding, and science, and
knowledge, rejoice together with
4 For God has manifested to us by
all the prophets, that he has no occa-
sion for our sacrifices, or burnt-of-
ferings, or oblations: saying thus; To
what purpose is the multitude of
your sacrifices unto me, saith the
5 I am full of the burnt-offerings
of rams, and the fat of fed beasts;
and I delight not in the blood of
bullocks, or of he-goats.
6 When ye come to appear before
me, who hath required this at your
hands? Ye shall no more tread my
7 Bring no more vain oblations, in-
cense is an abomination unto me
your new moons and sabbaths, and
the calling of assemblies I cannot
bear with, it is iniquity, even the sol-
emn meeting; your new moons and
your appointed feasts my soul hat-
8 These things therefore hath God
abolished, that the new law of our
Lord Jesus Christ, which is without
the yoke of any such necessity, might
have the spiritual offering of, men
9 For so the Lord saith again to
those heretofore; Did I at all com-
mand your fathers when they came
out of the land of Egypt concerning
burnt-offerings of sacrifices?
10 But this I commanded them, say-
ing, Let none of you imagine evil in
your hearts against his neighbour,
and love no false oath.
11 Forasmuch then as we are not
without understanding, we ought to
apprehend the design of our merci-
ful Father. For he speaks to us, being
willing that we who have been in the
same error about the sacrifices,
should seek and find how to ap-
proach unto him.
12 And therefore he thus bespeaks
us, The sacrifice of God (is a broken
spirit,) a broken and contrite heart —
God will not despise.
13 Wherefore brethren, we ought
the more diligently to inquire after
those things that belong to our sal-
vation, that the adversary may not
have any entrance into us, and de-
prive us of our spiritual life.
14 Wherefore he again speaketh to
them, concerning these things; Ye
shall not fast as ye do this day, to
make your voice to be heard on high.
15 Is it such a fast that I have
chosen? A day for a man to afflict
his soul? Is it to bow down his head
like a bulrush, and to spread sack-
cloth and ashes under him? Wilt
thou call this a fast, and an accept-
able day to the Lord?
16 But to us he saith on this wise: Is
not this the fast that I have chosen,
to loose the bands of wickedness, to
undo the heavy burdens, and to let
the oppressed go free: and that ye
break every yoke?
17 Is it not to deal thy bread to the
hungry, and that thou bring the poor
that are cast out to thy house? When
thou seest the naked that thou cover
him, and that thou hide not thyself
from thy own flesh.
18 Then shall thy light break forth
as the morning, and thy health shall
spring forth speedily; and thy right-
eousness shall go before thee; the
glory of the Lord shall be thy re-
19 Then shalt thou call and the Lord
shall answer; thou shalt cry and he
shall say, Here I am; if thou put
away from the midst of thee the
yoke; the putting forth of the finger,
and speaking vanity; and if thou
draw out thy soul to the hungry; and
satisfy the afflicted soul.
20 In this, therefore, brethren, God
has manifested his foreknowledge
and love for us; because the people
which he has purchased to his be-
loved Son were to believe in sincer-
ity; and therefore he has shown these
things to all of us, that we should
not run as proselytes to the Jewish
The prophecies of Daniel concerning the
ten kings, and the coming of Christ.
WHEREFORE it is necessary that
searching diligently into those things
which are soon to come to pass, we
should write to you what may serve
to keep you whole.
2 To which end, let us flee from
every evil work and hate the errors
of the present time, that we may be
happy in that which is to come.
3 Let us not give ourselves the
liberty of disputing with the wicked
and sinners; lest we should chance in
time to become like unto them.
4 For the consummation of sin is
come, as it is written, as the prophet
Daniel says. And for this end the
Lord hath shortened the times and
the days, that his beloved might
hasten his corning to his inheritance.
5 For so the prophet speaks; There
shall ten kings reign in the heart,
and there shall rise last of all anoth-
er little one, and he shall humble
6 And again Daniel speaks in like
manner concerning the kingdoms;
and I saw the fourth beast dreadful
and terrible, and strong exceedingly;
and it had ten horns. I considered
the horns, and behold there came up
among them another little horn, be-
fore which were three of the first
horns plucked up by the roots.
7 We ought therefore to understand
this also: And I beseech you, as one
of your own brethren, loving you all
beyond my own life, that you look
well to yourselves, and be not like to
those who add sin to sin, and say;
That their covenant is ours also. Nay,
but it is ours only: for they have
forever lost that which Moses re-
8 For thus saith the Scripture: And
Moses continued fasting forty days
and forty nights in the Mount; and
he received the covenant from the
Lord, even the two tables of stone,
written by the hand of God.
9 But having turned themselves to
idols they lost it; as the Lord also
said to Moses; Moses, go down
quickly, for thy people which thou
hast brought forth out of Egypt,
have corrupted themselves, and
turned aside from the way which I
commanded them. And Moses cast
the two tables out of his hands; and
their covenant was broken; that the
love of Jesus might be sealed in your
hearts, unto the hope of his faith.
10 Wherefore let us give heed unto
the last times. For all the time past
of our life and our faith, will profit
us nothing; unless we continue to
hate what is evil, and to withstand
the future temptations. So the Son
of God tells us; Let us resist all
iniquity and hate it.
11 Wherefore consider the works of
the evil way. Do not withdraw
yourselves from others as if you
were already justified; but coming al-
together into one place, inquire what
is agreeable to and profitable for the
beloved of God. For the Scripture
saith; Woe unto them that are wise in
their own eyes; and prudent in their
12 Let us become spiritually a per-
fect temple to God. As much as in us
lies let us meditate upon the fear of
God; and strive to the utmost of our
power to keep his commandments;
that we may rejoice in his righteous
13 For God will judge the world
without respect of persons and
everyone shall receive according to
14 If a man shall be good, his right-
eousness shall go before him if
wicked, the reward of his wickedness
shall follow him.
15 Take heed therefore lest sitting
still now, that when we are called, we
fall asleep in our sins; and the
wicked one getting the dominion
over us, stir us up, and shut us out
of the kingdom of the Lord.
16 Consider this also: although you
have seen so great signs and wonders
done among the people of the Jews,
yet this notwithstanding the Lord
hath forsaken them.
17 Beware, therefore, lest it happen
to us; as it is written: There may be
many called, but few chosen.
That Christ was to suffer is proved from
the prophecies concerning him.
FOR this cause did our Lord vouch-
safe to give up his body to destruc-
tion, that through the forgiveness of
our sins we might be sanctified; that
is, by the sprinkling of his blood.
2 Now for what concerns the things
that are written about him, some be-
long to the people of the Jews, and
some to us.
3 For thus saith the Scripture; He
was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities, and
by his blood we are healed. He was
led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as
a sheep before his shearers is dumb,
so he opened not his mouth.
4 Wherefore we ought the more to
give thanks unto God, for that he
hath both declared unto us what is
passed, and not suffered us to be
without understanding of those
things that are to come.
5 But to them he saith; The nets are
not unjustly spread for the birds.
6 This he spake, because a man will
justly perish, if having the know-
ledge of the way of truth, he shall
nevertheless not refrain himself
from the way of darkness.
7 And for this cause the Lord was
content to suffer for our souls, al-
though he be the Lord of the whole
earth; to whom God said before the
beginning of the world, Let us make
man after our own image and like-
8 Now how he suffered for us, see-
ing it was by men that he underwent
it, I will shew you.
9 The prophets having received
from him the gifts of prophecy,
spake before concerning him:
10 But he, that he might abolish
death, and make known the resurrec-
tion from the dead, was content, as
it was necessary, to appear in the
flesh, that he might make good the
promise before given to our fathers,
and preparing himself a new people,
might demonstrate to them whilst he
was upon earth, that after the resur-
rection he would judge the world.
11 And finally, teaching the people
of Israel, and doing many wonders
and signs among them, he preached
to them, and shewed the exceeding
great love which he bare towards
12 And when he chose his apostles,
which were afterwards to publish his
Gospel, he took men who had been
very great sinners; that thereby he
might plainly shew That he came not
to call the righteous but sinners to
13 Then he clearly manifested him-
self to be the Son of God. For had
he not come in the flesh, how should
men have been able to look upon
him, that they might be saved?
14 Seeing that if they beheld only
the sun, which was the work of his
hands, and shall hereafter cease to
be, they are not able to endure sted-
fastly to look against the rays of it;
15 Wherefore the Son of God came
in the flesh for this cause, that he
might fill up the measure of their
iniquity, who have persecuted his
prophets unto death. And for the
same reason also he suffered.
16 For God hath said of the stripes
of his flesh, that they were from
them. And, I will smite the shep-
herd, and the sheep of the flock
shall be scattered.
17 Thus he would suffer, because it
behoved him to suffer upon the
18 For thus one saith, prophesying
concerning him; Spare my soul from
the sword. And again, My flesh
trembleth for fear.
19 And again, the congregation of
wicked doers rose up against me,
(They have pierced my hands and my
20 And again he saith, I gave my
back to the smiters, and my face I
set as a hard rock.
The subject continued.
AND when he had fulfilled the
commandment of God, What says
he? Who will contend with me? Let
him stand against me or who is he
that will implead me? Let him draw
near to the servant of the Lord. Woe
be to you! Because ye shall all wax
old as a garment, the moth shall eat
2 And again adds the prophet, He is
put for a stone of stumbling. Behold
I lay in Zion for a foundation, a pre-
cious stone a choice corner-stone; an
honourable stone. And what follows?
And he that hopeth in him shall live
3 What then? Is our hope built upon
a stone? God forbid. But because the
Lord hath hardened his flesh against
sufferings, he saith, I have put me as
a firm rock.
4 And again the prophet adds; The
stone which the builders refused has
become the head of the corner. And
again he saith This is the great and
wonderful day which the Lord hath
made. I write these things the more
plainly to you that ye may under-
stand: I For indeed I could be con-
tent even to die for your sakes.
5 But what saith the prophet again;
The counsel of the wicked encom-
passed me about. They came about
me, as bees about the honey-comb:
and, Upon my vesture they cast lots.
6 Forasmuch then as our Saviour
was to appear in the flesh and suffer,
his passion was hereby foretold.
7 For thus saith the prophet against
Israel: "Woe be to their soul because
they have taken wicked counsel
against themselves, saying; let us lay
snares for the righteous, because he
is unprofitable to us."
8 Moses also in like manner speak-
eth to them; Behold thus saith the
Lord God; Enter ye into the good
land of which the Lord hath sworn
to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,
that he would give it you, and pos-
sess it; a land flowing with milk and
9 Now what the spiritual meaning
of this is, learn; It is as if it had
been said, Put your trust in Jesus,
who shall be manifested to you in
the flesh. For man is the earth which
suffers: forasmuch as out of the sub-
stance of the earth Adam was
10 What therefore does he mean
when he says, Into a good land flow-
ing with milk and honey? Blessed be
our Lord, who has given us wisdom,
and a heart to understand his secrets.
For so says the prophet, "Who shall
understand the hard sayings of the
Lord? But he that is wise, and intelli-
gent, and that loves his Lord."
11 Seeing therefore he has renewed
us by the remission of our sins, he
has put us into another frame, that
we should have souls like those of
children, forming us again himself
by the spirit.
12 For thus the Scripture saith con-
cerning us, where it introduceth the
Father speaking to the Son; Let us
make man after our likeness and
similitude; and let them have domin-
ion over the beasts of the earth, and
over the fowls of the air, and the
fish of the sea.
13 And when the Lord saw the man
which he had formed, that behold he
was very good; he said, Increase and
multiply, and replenish the earth.
And this he spake to his son.
14 I will now show you, how he
made us a new creature, in the latter
15 The Lord saith; Behold I will
make the last as the first. Wherefore
the prophet thus spake, Enter into
the land flowing with milk and
honey, and have dominion over it.
16 Wherefore ye see how we are
again formed anew; as also he speaks
by another prophet; Behold saith the
Lord, I will take from them; that is,
from those whom the spirit of the
Lord foresaw, their hearts of stone,
and I will put into them hearts of
17 Because he was about to be made
manifest in the flesh and to dwell in
18 For, my brethren, the habitation
of our heart is a holy temple unto
the Lord. For the prophet saith
again, In what place shall I appear
before the Lord my God, and be
19 He answers I will confess unto
thee in the congregation in the midst
of my brethren; and will sing unto
thee in the church of the saints:
20 Wherefore we are they whom he
has brought into that good land.
21 But what signifies the milk and
honey? Because as the child is nour-
ished first with milk, and then with
honey; so we being kept alive by the
belief of his promises and his word,
shall live and have dominion over
22 For he foretold before, saying,
increase and multiply, and have
dominion over the beasts, fishes, and
23 But who is there that is now able
to have this dominion over the wild
beasts, or fishes, or fowls of the air?
For you know that to rule, is to have
power; that a man should be set over
what he rules.
24 But forasmuch as this we have
not now, he tells us when we shall
have it; namely, when we shall be-
come perfect, that we may be made
the inheritors of the covenant of the
The sacrifice of Jesus, and of a goat, an
evident type of Christ crucified.
UNDERSTAND then my beloved
children, that the good God hath be-
fore manifested all things unto us,
that we might know to whom we
ought always to give thanks and
2 If therefore the Son of God who
is the Lord of all, and shall come to
judge both the quick and dead, hath
suffered, that by his stripes we might
live; let us believe that the Son of
God could not have suffered but for
us. But being crucified, they gave
him vinegar and gall to drink.
3 Hear therefore how the priests of
the temple did foreshow this also:
the Lord by his command which was
written, declared that whosoever did
not fast the appointed fast he should
die the death: because he also was
himself one day to offer up his body
for our sins; that so the type of what
was done in Isaac might be fulfilled,
who was offered upon the altar.
4 What therefore is it that he says
by the prophet? And let them eat of
the goat which is offered in the day
of the fast for all their sins. Hearken
diligently, (my brethren,) and all the
priests, and they only shall eat the
inwards not washed with vinegar.
5 Why so? because I know that
when I shall hereafter offer my flesh
for the sins of a new people, ye will
give me vinegar to drink mixed with
gall; therefore do ye only eat, the
people fasting the while, and lament-
ing in sackcloth and ashes.
6 And that he might foreshow that
he was to suffer for them, hear then
how he appointed it.
7 Take, says he, two goats, fair and
alike, and offer them; and let the
high priest take one of them for a
burnt offering. And what shalt be
done with the other? Let it, says he,
8 Consider how exactly this appears
to have been a type of Jesus. And let
all the congregation spit upon it, and
prick it; and put the scarlet wool
about its head; and thus let it be car-
ried forth into the wilderness.
9 And this being done, he that was
appointed to convey the goat, led it
into the wilderness, and took away
the scarlet wool, and put it upon a
thorn bush, whose young sprouts,
when we find them in the field, we
are wont to eat: so the fruit of that
thorn only is sweet.
10 And to what end was this cere-
mony? Consider; one was offered
upon the altar, the other was ac-
11 And why was that which was ac-
cursed crowned? Because they shall
see Christ on that day having a scar-
let garment about his body; and shall
say: Is not this he whom we cruci-
fied; having despised him, pierced
him, mocked him? Certainly, this is
he, who then said, that he was the
Son of God.
12 As therefore he shall be then like
to what he was on earth, so were the
Jews heretofore commanded, to take
two goats fair and equal; that when
they shall see (our Saviour) hereafter
coming (in the clouds of heaven),
they may be amazed at the likeness
of the goats.
13 Wherefore ye here again see a
type of Jesus who was to suffer for
14 But what then signifies this, That
the wool was to be put into the
midst of the thorns?
15 This also is a figure of Jesus, set
out to the church. For as he who
would take away the scarlet wool
must undergo many difficulties, be-
cause that thorn was very sharp, and
with difficulty get it: So, says Christ,
they that will see me, and come to
my kingdom, must through many af-
flictions and troubles attain unto me.
The red heifer, another type of Christ.
BUT what type do ye suppose it to
have been, where it is commanded to
the people of Israel, that grown per-
sons in whom sins are come to per-
fection, should offer an heifer, and
after they had killed it should burn
2 But then young men should take
up the ashes and put them in vessels;
and tie a piece of scarlet wool and
hyssop upon a stick, and so the
young men should sprinkle every one
of the people, and they should be
clear from their sins?
3 Consider how all these are de-
livered in a figure to us.
4 This heifer is Jesus Christ; the
wicked men that were to offer it are
those sinners who brought him to
death; who afterwards have no more
to do with it: for the sinners have no
more the honour of handling it:
5 But the young men that performed
the sprinkling, signified those who
preach to us the forgiveness of sins,
and the purification of the heart, to
whom the Lord gave authority to
preach his Gospel: being at the be-
ginning twelve, to signify the tribes,
because there were twelve tribes of
6 But why were there three young
men appointed to sprinkle? To de-
note Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,
because they were great before God.
7 And why was the wool put upon a
stick? Because the kingdom of Jesus
was founded upon the cross; and
therefore they that put their trust in
him, shall live for ever.
8 But why was the wool and hyssop
put together? To signify that in the
kingdom of Christ there shall be evil
and filthy days, in which however, we
shall be saved; and because he that
has any disease in the flesh by some
filthy humours, is cured by hyssop.
9 Wherefore these things being thus
done, are to us indeed evident, but
to the Jews they are obscure; because
they hearkened not unto the voice of
Of the circumcision of the ears; and how
in the first institution of circumcision
Abraham mystically foretold Christ by
AND therefore the Scripture again
speaks concerning our ears, that God
has circumcised them, together with
our hearts. For thus saith the Lord
by the holy prophet: By the hearing
of the ear they obeyed me.
2 And again, They who are afar off,
shall hear and understand what
things I have done. And again, Cir-
cumcise your hearts, saith the Lord.
3 And again be saith, Hear O Israel!
For thus saith the Lord thy God.
And again the Spirit of God proph-
esieth, saying: Who is there that
would live for ever, let him hear the
voice of my Son.
4 And again, Hear, O Heavens, and
give ear O Earth! Because the Lord
has spoken these things for a wit-
5 And again, he saith, Hear the
word of the Lord, ye princes of the
people. And again, Hear O children!
The voice of one crying in the wil-
6 Wherefore he has circumcised our
ears, that we should hear his word,
and believe. But as for that circum-
cision, in which the Jews trust, it is
abolished: for the circumcision of
which God spake, was not of the
7 But they have transgressed his
commands, because the evil one hath
deceived them. For thus God be-
speaks them; Thus saith the Lord
your God, (Here I find the new law)
Sow not among thorns; but circum-
cise yourselves to the Lord your
God. And what doth he mean by this
saying? Hearken unto your Lord.
8 And again he saith, Circumcise the
hardness of your heart, and harden
not your neck. And again, Behold,
saith the Lord, all the nations are
uncircumcised, (they have not lost
their fore-skin): but this people is
uncircumcised in heart.
9 But you will say the Jews were cir-
cumcised for a sign. And so are all
the Syrians and Arabians, and all the
idolatrous priests: but are they there-
fore of the covenant of Israel? And
even the Egyptians themselves are
10 Understand therefore, children,
these things more fully, that Abra-
ham was the first, that brought in
circumcision, looking forward in the
Spirit, to Jesus; circumcised, having
received the mystery of three letters.
11 For the Scripture says that Abra-
ham circumcised three hundred and
eighteen men of his house. But what
therefore was the mystery that was
made known unto him!
12 Mark, first the eighteen, and next
the three hundred. For the numeral
letters of ten and eight are T H. And
these denote Jesus.
13 And because the cross was that
by which we were to find grace,
therefore he adds, three hundred; the
note of which is T (the figure of his
cross). Wherefore by two letters he
signified Jesus, and by the third his
14 He who has put the engrafted
gift of his doctrine within us, knows
that I never taught to anyone a more
certain truth: but I trust that ye are
worthy of it.
That the commands of Moses concerning
clean and unclean beasts, were all de-
signed for a spiritual signification.
BUT why did Moses say Ye shall not
eat of the swine, neither the eagle
nor the hawk; nor the crow; nor any
fish that has not a scale upon him? —
I answer that, in the spiritual sense,
he comprehended three doctrines,
that were to be gathered from
2 Besides which he says to them in
the book of Deuteronomy, And I
will give my statutes unto this
people. Wherefore it is not the com-
mand of God that they should not
eat these things; but Moses in the
spirit spake unto them.
3 Now the sow he forbad them to
eat; meaning thus much: Thou shalt
not join thyself to such persons as
are like unto swine, who, whilst they
live in pleasure, forget their God;
but when any want pinches them,
then they know the Lord: as the sow
when she is full knows not her mas-
ter, but when she is hungry she
makes a noise; and being again fed,
4 Neither, says he, shalt thou eat
the eagle, nor the hawk, nor the kite,
nor the crow; that is, thou shalt not
keep company with such kind of
men as know not how by their labour
and sweat to get themselves food;
but injuriously ravish away the things
of others, and watch how to lay
snares for them; when at the same
time they appear to live in perfect
3 So these birds alone (seek not
food for themselves,) but sitting idle,
seek how they may eat of the flesh
others have provided being destruct-
ive through their wickedness.
6 Neither, says he, shalt thou eat
the lamprey, nor the polypus, nor the
cuttle-fish; that is thou shalt not be
like such men, by seeking to con-
verse with them who are altogether
wicked and adjudged to death. For so
those fishes are alone accursed, that
wallow in the mire, nor swim as oth-
er fishes, but tumble in the dirt at
the bottom of the deep.
7 But, he adds, neither shalt thou
eat of the hare. To what end? — To
signify this to us; Thou shalt not be
an adulterer, nor liken thyself to
such persons. For the hare every year
multiplies the places of its concep-
tion; and as many years as it lives, so
many it has.
8 Neither shalt thou eat of the hy-
ena: that is, again, be not an adulter-
er, nor a corrupter of others; neither
be like to such. And wherefore so? —
Because that creature every year
changes its kind, which is sometimes
male and sometimes female.
9 For which cause also he justly
hated the weazel; to the end that
they should not be like such persons
who with their mouths commit
wickedness by reason of their un-
cleanness; nor join themselves with
those impure women, who with their
mouths commit wickedness. Because
that animal conceives with its mouth.
10 Moses, therefore, speaking as
concerning meats, delivered indeed
three great precepts to them in the
spiritual signification of those com-
mands. But they according to the de-
sires of the flesh, understood him as
if he had only meant it of meats.
11 And therefore David took aright
the knowledge of his three-fold
command, saying in like manner:
12 Blessed is the man that hath not
walked in the counsel of the un-
godly; as the fishes before men-
tioned in the bottom of the deep, in
13 Nor stood in the way of sinners,
as they who seem to fear the Lord,
but yet sin, as the sow.
14 And hath not sat in the seat of
the scorners; as those birds who sit
and watch that they may devour.
15 Here you have the law concern-
ing meat perfectly set forth and ac-
cording to the true knowledge of it.
16 But, says Moses, ye shall eat all
that divideth the hoof, and cheweth
the cud. Signifying thereby such an
one as having taken his food, knows
him that nourisheth him; and resting
upon him, rejoiceth in him.
17 And in this he spake well, having
respect to the commandment. What,
therefore, is it that he says? — That
we should hold fast to them that fear
the Lord; with those who meditate
on the command of the word which
they have received, in their heart;
with those that declare the righteous
judgments of the Lord, and keep his
18 In short, with those who know
that to meditate is a work of pleas-
ure, and therefore exercise them-
selves in the word of the Lord.
19 But why might they eat those
that clave the hoof? Because the
righteous liveth in this present
world; but his expectation is fixed
upon the other. See, brethren, how
admirably Moses commanded these
20 But how should we thus know all
this, and understand it? We, there-
fore, understanding aright the com-
mandments, speak as the Lord would
have us. Wherefore he has circum-
cised our ears and our hearts, that
we might know these things.
baptism and the cross of Christ foretold
in figures under the law.
LET us now inquire whether the
Lord took care to manifest anything
beforehand concerning water and the
2 Now for the former of these, it is
written to the people of Israel how
they shall not receive that baptism
which brings to forgiveness of sins;
but shall institute another to them-
selves that cannot.
3 For thus saith the prophet: Be as-
tonished, O Heaven! and let the
earth tremble at it, because this
people have done two great and
wicked things: they have left me, the
fountain of living water, and have
digged for themselves broken
cisterns, that can hold no water.
4 Is my holy mountain of Zion, a
desolate wilderness? For ye shall be
as a young bird when its nest is
5 And again the prophet saith, I will
go before thee, and will make plain
the mountains, and will break the
gates of brass, and will snap in sun-
der the bars of iron; and will give
thee dark, and hidden, and invisible
treasures, that they may know that I
am the Lord God.
6 And again: he shall dwell in the
high den of the strong rock. And
then, what follows in the same
prophet? His water is faithful; ye
shall see the king with glory, and
your soul shall learn the fear of the
7 And again he saith in another
prophet: He that does these things; I
shall be like a tree planted by the
currents of water, which shall give
its fruit in its season. Its leaf also
shall not wither, and whatsoever he
doth it shall prosper.
8 As for the wicked it is not so with
them; but they are as the dust which
the wind scattereth away from the
face of the earth.
9 Therefore the ungodly shall not
stand in the judgment, neither the
sinners in the council of the right-
eous. For the Lord knoweth the way
of the righteous, and the way of the
ungodly shall perish.
10 Consider how he has joined both
the cross and the water together.
11 For this he saith: Blessed are they
who put their trust in the cross, and
descend into the water; for they shall
have their reward in due time: then,
saith he, will I give it them.
12 But as concerning the present
time, he saith, their leaves shall not
fall: meaning thereby, that every
word that shall go out of your
mouth, shall through faith and char-
ity be to the conversion and hope of
13 In like manner doth another
prophet speak. And the land of Jac-
ob was the praise of all the earth;
magnifying thereby the vessel of his
14 And what follows? — And there
was a river running on the right
hand, and beautiful trees grew up by
it; and he that shall eat of them shall
live for ever. The signification of
which is this that we go down into
the water full of sins and pollutions,
but come up again, bringing forth
fruit; having in our hearts the fear
and hope which is in Jesus, by the
spirit. And whosoever shall eat of
them shall live for ever.
15 That is, whosoever shall hearken
to those who call them, and shall be-
lieve, shall live for ever.
The subject continued.
IN like manner he determines con-
cerning the cross in another prophet,
saying: And when shall these things
2 The Lord answers: When the tree
that is fallen shall rise, and when
blood shall drop down from the tree.
Here you have again mention made,
both of the cross, and of him that
was to be crucified upon it.
3 And yet farther he saith by Moses;
(when Israel was fighting with, and
beaten by, a strange people; to the
end that God might put them in
mind how that for their sins they
were delivered unto death) yea, the
holy spirit put it into the heart of
Moses, to represent both the sign of
the cross, and of him that was to
suffer: that so they might know that
if they did not believe in him, they
should be overcome for ever.
4 Moses therefore I piled up armour
upon armour in the middle of a
rising ground, and standing up high
above all of them, stretched forth
his arms, and so Israel again
5 But no sooner did he let down his
hands, but they were again slain. And
why so? — To the end they might
know, that except they trust in him
they cannot be saved.
6 And in another prophet, he saith,
I have stretched out my hands all the
day long to a people disobedient,
and speaking against my righteous
7 And again Moses makes a type of
Jesus, to show that he was to die,
and then that he, whom they thought
to be dead, was to give life to others;
in the type of those that fell in Is-
8 For God caused all sorts of ser-
pents to bite them, and they died:
forasmuch as by a serpent transgres-
sion began in Eve; that so he might
convince them that for their trans-
gressions they shall be delivered into
the pain of death.
9 Moses then himself, who had
commanded them, saying, Ye shall
not make to yourselves any graven or
molten image, to be your God yet
now did so himself, that he might
represent to them the figure of the
10 For he made a brazen serpent,
and set it up on high, and called the
people together by a proclamation:
where being come, they entreated
Moses that he would make an atone-
ment for them, and pray that they
might be healed.
11 Then Moses spake unto them,
saying: when any one among you
shall be bitten, let him come unto
the serpent that is set upon the pole;
and let him assuredly trust in him,
that though he be dead, yet he is
able to give life, and presently he
shall be saved; and so they did. See
therefore how here also you have in
this the glory of Jesus; and that in
him and to him are all things.
12 Again; What says Moses to
Joshua, the Son of Nun, when he
gave that name unto him, as being a
prophet, that all the people might
hear him alone? Because the father
did manifest all things concerning
his son Jesus, in Joshua, the Son of
Nun; and gave him that name when
he sent him to spy out the land of
Canaan, saying; Take a book in thine
hands, and write what the Lord saith.
Forasmuch as Jesus the Son of God
shall in the last days cut off by the
roots all the house of Amalek, see
here again Jesus, not the son of man,
but the Son of God, made manifest
in a type, and in the flesh.
13 But because it might hereafter be
said that Christ was the Son of Dav-
id; therefore David fearing and well
knowing the errors of the wicked,
saith; the Lord said unto my Lord,
sit thou on my right hand until I
make thine enemies thy footstool.
14 And again Isaiah speaketh on this
wise, The Lord said unto Christ my
Lord, I have laid hold on his right
hand, that the nations should obey
before him, and I will break the
strength of kings.
15 Behold, how doth David and
Isaiah call him Lord, and the Son of
The Promise of God not made to the Jews
only, but to the Gentiles also, and ful-
filled to us bj Jesus Christ.
BUT let us go yet further, and in-
quire whether this people be the
heir, or the former; and whether the
covenant be with us or with them.
2 And first, as concerning the
people, hear now what the Scripture
3 Isaac prayed for his wife Rebekah,
because she was barren; and she con-
ceived. Afterwards Rebekah went
forth to inquire of the Lord.
4 And the Lord said unto her; There
are two nations in thy womb, and
two people shall come from thy
body; and the one shall have power
over the other, and the greater shall
serve the lesser. Understand here
who was Isaac; who Rebekah; and of
whom it was foretold, this people
shall be greater than that.
5 And in another prophecy Jacob
speaketh more clearly to his son
Joseph, saying; Behold the Lord hath
not derived me of seeing thy face,
bring me thy sons that I may bless
them. And he brought unto his fath-
er Manasseh and Ephraim, desiring
that he should bless Manasseh, be-
cause he was the elder.
6 Therefore Joseph brought him to
the right hand of his father Jacob.
But Jacob by the spirit foresaw the
figure of the people that was to
7 And what saith the Scripture? And
Jacob crossed his hands, and put his
right hand upon Ephraim, his
second, and the younger son, and
blessed him. And Joseph said unto
Jacob; Put thy right hand upon the
head of Manasseh, for he is my first-
born son. And Jacob said unto
Joseph; I know it, my son, I know it;
but the greater shall serve the lesser;
though he also shall be blessed.
8 Ye see of whom he appointed it,
that they should be the first people,
and heirs of the covenant.
9 If therefore God shall have yet
farther taken notice of this, by Abra-
ham too; our understanding of it
will then be perfectly established.
10 What then saith the Scripture of
Abraham, when I he believed, and it
was imputed unto him for righteous-
ness? Behold I have made thee a
father of the nations, which without
circumcision believe in the Lord.
11 Let us therefore now inquire
whether God has fulfilled the coven-
ant, which he sware to our fathers,
that he would give this people? Yes,
verily, he gave it; but they were not
worthy to receive it by reason of
12 For thus saith the prophet And
Moses continued fasting in mount
Sinai, to receive the covenant of the
Lord with the people, forty days and
13 And he received of the Lord two
tables written with the finger of the
Lord's hand, in the Spirit. And
Moses, when he had received them,
brought them down that he might
deliver them to the people.
14 And the Lord said unto Moses;
Moses, Moses, get thee down quickly,
for the people which thou brought-
est out of the land of Egypt have
15 And Moses understood that they
had again set up a molten image: and
he cast the two tables out of his
hands; and the tables of the coven-
ant of the Lord were broken. Moses
therefore received them, but they
were not worthy.
16 Now then learn how we have re-
ceived them. Moses, being a servant,
took them; but the Lord himself has
given them unto us, that we might be
the people of his inheritance; having
suffered for us.
17 He was therefore made manifest;
that they should fill up the measure
of their sins, and that we being made
heirs by him, should receive the cov-
enant of the Lord Jesus.
18 And again the prophet saith Be-
hold, I have set thee for a light unto
the Gentiles; to be the saviour of all
the ends of the earth, saith the Lord;
the God who hath re-deemed thee.
19 Who for that very end was pre-
pared, that by his own appearing he
might redeem our hearts, already de-
voured by death, and delivered over
to the irregularity of error, from
darkness; and establish a covenant
with us by his word.
20 For so it is written that the fath-
er commanded him by delivering us
from darkness, to prepare unto him-
self a holy people.
21 Wherefore the prophet saith I
the Lord thy God have called thee in
righteousness, and I will take thee by
thy hand, and will strengthen thee,
and give thee for a covenant of the
people; for a light to the Gentiles.
To open the eyes of the blind, to
bring out the prisoners from the
prison, and them that sit in darkness
out of the prison house.
22 Consider, therefore, from
whence we have been redeemed. And
again the prophet saith The spirit of
the Lord is upon me, because he
hath anointed me: he hath sent me to
preach glad tidings to the lowly; to
heal the broken in heart; to preach
remission to the captives, and give
sight unto the blind; to proclaim the
acceptable year of the Lord, and the
day of restitution; to comfort all
That the sabbath of the Jews was but a
figure of a more glorious sabbath to come,
and their temple, of the spiritual temples
FURTHERMORE it is written con-
cerning the sabbath, in the Ten
Commandments, which God spake in
the mount Sinai to Moses, face to
face: Sanctify the sabbath of the
Lord with pure hands, and with a
2 And elsewhere he saith; If thy
children shall keep my Sabbaths,
then will I put my mercy upon them.
3 And even in the beginning of the
creation he makes mention of the
sabbath. And God made in six days
the works of his hands, and he fin-
ished them on the seventh day; and
he rested the seventh day, and sanc-
4 Consider, my children, what that
signifies, he finished them in six
days. The meaning of it is this: that
in six thousand years the Lord God
will bring all things to an end.
5 For with him one day is a thou-
sand years; as himself testifieth, say-
ing, Behold this day shall be as a
thousand years. Therefore, children,
in six days, that is, in six thousand
years, shall a all things be accom-
6 And what is that he saith, And he
rested the seventh day he meaneth
this: that when his Son shall come,
and abolish the season of the
Wicked One, and judge the ungodly;
and shall change the sun and the
moon, and the stars; then he shall
gloriously rest on that seventh day,
7 He adds, lastly: Thou shalt sancti-
fy it with clean hands and a pure
heart. Wherefore we are greatly de-
ceived if we imagine that anyone can
now sanctify that day which God has
made holy, without having a heart
pure in all things.
8 Behold, therefore, he will then
truly sanctify it with blessed rest,
when we (having received the right-
eous promise, when iniquity shall be
no more, all things being renewed by
the Lord) shall be able to sanctify it,
being ourselves first made holy;
9 Lastly, he saith unto them Your
new moons and your Sabbaths I can-
not bear them. Consider what he
means by it; the Sabbaths, says he,
which ye now keep are not accept-
able unto me, but those which I have
made; when resting from all things I
shall begin the eight day, that is, the
beginning of the other world.
10 For which cause we observe the
eight day with gladness, in which Je-
sus rose from the dead; and having
manifested himself to his disciples,
ascended into heaven.
11 It remains yet that I speak to you
concerning the temple: how those
miserable men being deceived have
put their trust in the house, and not
in God himself who made them, as
if it were the habitation of God.
12 For much after the same manner
as the Gentiles, they consecrated him
in the temple.
13 But learn therefore how the Lord
speaketh, rendering the temple vain:
Who has measured the heaven with a
span, and the earth with his hand? Is
it not I? Thus with the Lord, Heaven
is my throne, and the earth is my
footstool. What is the house that ye
will build me? Or what is the place
of my rest? Know therefore that all
their hope is vain.
14 And again he speaketh after this
manner: Behold they that destroy
this temple, even they shall again
build it up. And so it came to pass;
for through their wars it is now des-
troyed by their enemies; and the ser-
vants of their enemies build it up.
15 Furthermore it has been made
manifest, how both the city and the
temple, and the people of Israel
should be given up. For the scripture
saith; And it shall come to pass in
the last days, that the Lord will de-
liver up the sheep of his pasture,
and their fold, and their tower unto
destruction. And it is come to pass,
as the Lord hath spoken.
16 Let us inquire therefore, whether
there be any temple of God? Yes
there is: and there where himself de-
clares that he would both make and
perfect it. For it is written: And it
shall be that as soon as the week
shall be completed, the temple of
the Lord shall be gloriously built in
the name of the Lord.
17 I find therefore that there is a
temple. But how shall it be built in
the name of the Lord? I will shew
18 Before that we believed in God,
the habitation of our heart was cor-
ruptible, and feeble, as a temple
truly built with hands.
19 For it was a house full of idol-
atry, a house of devils; inasmuch as
there was done in it whatsoever was
contrary unto God. But it shall be
built in the name of the Lord.
20 Consider, how that the temple of
the Lord shall be very gloriously
built; and by what means that shall
21 Having received remission of our
sins, and trusting in the name of the
Lord, we are become renewed, being
again created as it were from the be-
ginning. Wherefore God truly dwells
in our house, that is, in us.
22 But how does he dwell in us? By
the word of his faith, the calling of
his promise, the wisdom of his right-
eous judgments and the commands
of his doctrine. He himself prophes-
ies within us, he himself dwelleth in
us, and openeth to us who were in
bondage of death the gate of our
temple, that is, the mouth of wis-
dom, having given repentance unto
us; and by this means has brought us
to be an incorruptible temple.
23 He therefore that desires to be
saved looketh not unto the man, but
unto him that dwelleth in him, and
speaketh by him; being struck with
wonder, forasmuch as he never either
heard him speaking such words out
of his mouth, nor ever desired to
24 This is that spiritual temple that
is built unto the Lord.
Of the way of light; being a summary of
what a Christian is to do, that he maybe
happy for ever.
AND thus I trust, I have declared to
you as much, and with as great sim-
plicity as I could, those, things
which provide for your salvation, so
as not to have omitted any thing that
might be requisite thereunto.
2 For should I speak farther of the
things that now are, and of those
that are to come, you would not yet
understand them, seeing they lie in
parables. This therefore shall suffice
as to these things.
3 Let us now go on to the other
kind of knowledge and doctrine.
There are two ways of doctrine and
power; the one of light, the other of
4 But there is a great deal of differ-
ence between these two ways for
over one are appointed the angels of
God, the leaders of the way of light;
over the other, the angels of Satan.
And the one is the Lord from ever-
lasting to everlasting; the other is
the prince of the time of unright-
5 Now the way of light is this: If
any one desires to attain to the place
that is appointed for him, and will
hasten thither by his works. And the
knowledge that has been given to us
for walking in it, to this effect: Thou
shalt love him that made thee: thou
shalt glorify him that hath redeemed
thee from death.
6 Thou shalt be simple in heart, and
rich in the spirit. Thou shalt not
cleave to those that walk in the way
of death. Thou shalt hate to do any-
thing that is not pleasing unto God.
Thou shalt abhor all dissimulation.
Thou shalt not neglect any of the
commands of the Lord.
7 Thou shalt not exalt thyself, but
shalt be humble. Then shalt not take
honour to thyself. Thou shalt not
enter into any wicked counsel against
thy neighbour. Thou shalt not be
over confident in thy heart.
8 Thou shalt not commit fornica-
tion, nor adultery. Neither shalt thou
corrupt thyself with mankind. Thou
shalt not make use of the word of
God, to any impurity,
9 Thou shalt not except any man's
person, when thou reprovest any
one's faults. Thou shalt be gentle.
Thou shalt be quiet. Thou shalt
tremble at the words which thou hast
heard. Thou shalt not keep any
hatred in thy heart against thy broth-
er. Thou shalt not entertain any
doubt whether it shall be or not.
10 Thou shalt not take the name of
the Lord in vain. Thou shalt love thy
neighbour above thy own soul,
11 Thou shalt not destroy thy con-
ceptions, before they are brought
forth; nor kill them after they are
12 Thou shalt not withdraw thy
hand from thy son, or from thy
daughter; but shall teach them from
their youth the fear of the Lord.
13 Thou shalt not covet thy neigh-
bour's goods; neither shalt thou be
an extortioner. Neither shall thy
heart be joined to proud men; but
thou shalt be numbered among the
righteous and the lowly. Whatever
events shall happen unto thee, thou
shalt receive them as good.
14 Thou shalt not be double-
minded or double-tongued; for a
double tongue is the snare of death.
Thou shalt be subject unto the Lord
and to inferior masters as to the rep-
resentatives of God, in fear and rev-
15 Thou shalt not be bitter in thy
commands towards any of thy ser-
vants that trust in God; lest thou
chance not to fear him who is over
both; because he came not to call
any with respect of persons, but
whomsoever the spirit had prepared.
16 Thou shalt communicate to thy
neighbour of all thou hast; thou
shalt not call anything thine own: for
if ye partake of such things as are
incorruptible, how much more
should you do it in those that are
17 Thou shalt not be forward to
speak; for the mouth is the snare of
death. Strive for thy soul with all thy
might. Reach not out thine hand to
receive, and withhold it not when
thou shouldest give.
18 Thou shalt love, as the apple of
thine eye, everyone that speaketh
unto thee the Word of the Lord. Call
to thy remembrance, day and night,
the future judgment.
19 Thou shalt seek out every day,
the persons of the righteous; and
both consider and go about to ex-
hort others by the word, and medit-
ate how thou mayest save a soul.
20 Thou shalt also labour with thy
hands to give to the poor, that thy
sins may be forgiven thee, Thou
shalt not deliberate whether thou
shouldst give; nor having given, mur-
mur at it.
21 Give to everyone that asks so
shalt thou know who is the good re-
warder of thy gifts.
22 Keep what thou hast received;
thou shalt neither add to it nor take
23 Let the wicked be always thy
aversion. Thou shalt judge with
righteous judgment. Thou shalt nev-
er cause divisions; but shalt make
peace between those that are at vari-
ance, and bring them together.
24 Thou shalt confess thy sins; and
not come to thy prayer with an evil
25 This is the way of light.
Of the way of darkness; that is, what
kind of persons shall be for ever cast out
of the kingdom of God.
BUT the way of darkness is
crooked, and full of cursing. For it is
the way of eternal death, with pun-
ishment; in which they that walk
meet those things that destroy their
2 Such are; idolatry, confidence,
pride of power, hypocrisy, double-
mindedness, adultery, murder,
rapine, pride, transgression, deceit,
malice, arrogance, witchcraft, covet-
ousness, and the want of the fear of
3 In this, walk those, who are the
persecutors of them that are good;
haters of truth; lovers of lies; who
know not the reward of righteous-
ness, nor cleave to any thing that is
4 Who administer not righteous
judgment to the widow and orphan;
who watch for wickedness, and not
for the fear of the Lord;
5 From whom gentleness and pa-
tience are far off: who love vanity,
and follow after rewards; having no
compassion upon the poor; nor take
any pains for such as are heavy laden
6 Ready to evil speaking, not know-
ing him that made them; murderers
of children; corrupters of the
creature of God; that turn away
from the needy; oppress the afflic-
ted; are the advocates of the rich,
but unjust judges of the poor; being
7 It is therefore fitting that learning
the just commands of the Lord,
which we have before mentioned, we
should walk in them. For he who
does such things shall be glorified in
the kingdom of God.
8 But he that chooses the other
part, shall be destroyed, together
with his works. For this cause there
shall be both a resurrection, and a
9 I beseech those that are in high
estate among you, (if so be you will
take the counsel which with a good
intention I offer to you,) you have
those with you towards whom you
may do good; do not forsake them.
10 For the day is at hand in which
all things shall be destroyed, togeth-
er with the wicked one. The Lord is
near, and his reward is with him.
11 I beseech you, therefore, again,
and again, Be as good lawgiver's to
one another; continue faithful coun-
sellors do each other remove from
among you all hypocrisy.
12 And may God, the Lord of all
the world, give you wisdom, know-
ledge, counsel, and understanding of
his judgments in patience:
13 Be ye taught of God; seeking
what it is the Lord requires of you,
and doing it; that ye may be saved in
the day of judgment.
14 And if there be among you any
remembrance of what is good, think
of me; meditating on these things,
that both my desire and my watching
for you may turn to a good account.
15 I beseech you; I ask it as a favour
of you; whilst you are in this beauti-
ful tabernacle of the body, be want-
ing in none of these things; but
without ceasing seek them, and fulfil
every command, For these things are
fitting and worthy to be done.
16 Wherefore I have given the more
diligence to write unto you according
to my ability, that you might rejoice.
Farewell, children of love and peace.
17 The Lord of glory and of all
grace, be with your spirit, Amen.
The end of the Epistle of Barnabas the
Apostle, and fellow-traveller of St. Paul